Ex­pert: cargo trans­ports through Iran of­fer a ma­jor step for in­ter­na­tional lo­gis­tics mar­ket

Baltic News Network - - News -

Over the course of nine months, since Lat­vian lo­gis­tics com­pany Pro Lo­gis­tic Ser­vices opened an of­fice in Iran, the vol­ume of car­goes and the num­ber of ser­viced clients has grown by 15%.

«The long pe­riod of eco­nomic block­ade makes Iran’s mar­ket a very at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tion for rep­re­sen­ta­tives of dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries in Europe and Latvia. Ex­ports and im­ports are on a rise, and with them – cargo vol­umes. The opportunity to trans­port car­goes through Iran is a ma­jor step for­ward on the in­ter­na­tional lo­gis­tics mar­ket – it opens the way for the res­ur­rec­tion of the Silk Way,» says Pro Lo­gis­tic Ser­vices com­mer­cial direc­tor Dmitrijs Babaks. Ap­prox­i­mately 50% of ex­portim­port flow in Cen­tral Asia is per­formed through Iran’s ports, explains the com­pany’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive. Iran’s main im­port prod­ucts from the Cen­tral Asian mar­ket in­clude steel wire, iron and steel prod­ucts, as well as bar­ley, wheat and rape seed. Iran’s main ex­port prod­ucts in­clude pis­ta­chios, dates, raisins, white ce­ment, paint and var­nish, Twine and foil, mar­ble, traver­tine, syn­thetic and nat­u­ral poly­mers. The first car­goes trans­ported by Pro Lo­gis­tic Ser­vices through Iran were min­eral fer­til­iz­ers and sul­phur. The com­pany does see po­ten­tial in tran­sit of raw ma­te­ri­als and pe­tro­leum prod­ucts, cotton, fer­til­izer, and bulk car­goes, says the com­pany’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

As for prob­lems present on the mar­ket, Babaks says: «Any new mar­ket that re­mained iso­lated for a long time is com­plex. The main prob­lems at the mo­ment in­clude mon­e­tary trans­ac­tions be­tween banks in Iran and Europe, as well as enor­mous bu­reau­cracy and tax bur­den. For ex­am­ple, com­pany reg­is­tra­tion and open­ing a re­gional of­fice take up sev­eral months. There are also dif­fi­cul­ties with at­trac­tion of for­eign labour force and ac­qui­si­tion of work per­mits. Busi­nesses are cau­tious be­cause of geopo­lit­i­cal rea­sons – re­la­tions be­tween USA and Iran re­main frag­ile. There are also pos­i­tive as­pects that could prove very in­ter­est­ing in a longterm per­spec­tive. Un­like Europe, where we find sil­ver econ­omy, Iran’s pop­u­la­tion is very young. 32% of res­i­dents or 23.7 mil­lion are aged 15-30. This means the coun­try’s GDP and pur­chas­ing power, as well as de­mand will grow sig­nif­i­cantly in the next sev­eral years. The sit­u­a­tion with ed­u­ca­tion is also much bet­ter than what we had ex­pected. There are 2,500 higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions and 4.8 mil­lion stu­dents. Many study in Europe and USA and know for­eign lan­guages.» Con­sid­er­ing that in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment in the world is largely in­flu­enced by tech­nolo­gies cre­ated in USA and Europe, the long years of eco­nomic block­ade have de­layed the de­vel­op­ment of Iran’s in­fra­struc­ture. The lack of proper port in­fra­struc­ture and cargo trans­ship­ment ter­mi­nals is es­pe­cially felt. «We look at Iran as tran­sit ter­ri­tory. Foun­da­tion of a sub­sidiary is the first step to­wards work­ing with Iran’s rail­way and ports. The first in­vest­ment projects for the de­vel­op­ment of ter­mi­nals to han­dle chem­i­cal prod­ucts are planned to be per­formed in the next two years. We also see in­vest­ment and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for the fu­ture. These op­por­tu­ni­ties will ben­e­fit Lat­vian and Ira­nian ports,» Babaks says.

The com­pany’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive re­ports about last year’s cargo vol­ume: in nine months of 2016 the to­tal vol­ume of car­goes trans­ported by rail­way in Iran had reached 30 mil­lion tonnes, which is 14% more than one year be­fore. The Ira­nian gov­ern­ment plans to in­crease the vol­ume of car­goes trans­ported by rail to 30% by 2021. Con­sid­er­ing that the Cen­tral Asian re­gion, which in­cludes Kaza­khstan, Uzbek­istan, Ta­jik­istan and Turk­menistan, has no open sea port, the turnover of goods be­tween this re­gion and Europe is per­formed mainly through ports in the Baltic or Black Sea, or Per­sian Gulf ports in Iran. The lat­ter is one of the most im­por­tant tran­sit gates for ex­ports of chem­i­cal goods from Uzbek­istan and Turk­menistan and ex­ports of cotton from Uzbek­istan, Turk­menistan, Kyr­gyzs­tan and Ta­jik­istan.

Ieva Lūka/LETA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Latvia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.